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I am wife to Stewart, mama of five, homeschooler, messy cook, and avid fermenter. This is where I tell our story... of building a sustainable off-grid homestead in a Christian agrarian community... of raising this growing family of ours... of the beauty and the hard and the joy in all of it.
947 articles written by Shannon

One of the greatest gifts we have been given through this agrarian pursuit is that, though the days may often be overflowing and quite long, they are nearly all spent together. When Daddy is working he is sometimes in his office, often out on the land, or a very short walk down our dirt road. But save the trips for groceries, laundry, and supplies, the seven us are usually all on the land.

So while we wait for supper to finish cooking, the three littlest ones and I hitch up the “tractor” (an old hose reel) and stroll down to see how the work is coming along. Another blessing is that the boys are now old enough to help and so oftentimes one or both of them is down working on our neighbor’s fence or earth bag root cellar alongside Stewart.

When we got to the work site we said our hellos and I found the boys pounding rebar while I tried not to worry about them walking across these planks. Stewart was laying planks, drilling holes, and cutting rebar. They work seamlessly, these three, and it hurts my heart a little to see these boys standing beside their father; growing into young men, even if just a little bit.

But then I remember the pot of lentils simmering on the stove and the little man and his sisters who are still very much little. So we tell them it will be about thirty minutes until supper and we head back down that dirt road. The girls pick grass for Mabel and we head in and set the table and quick pick a salad from the garden.

Like most nights, I break up a few squabbles, wipe up a lot of spilled milk, and try to stay awake long enough to finish the dishes, knowing that tomorrow might be exactly like today… and wouldn’t that be a privilege.

It is sweet potato season and I am already considering more growing options for next year. We only grew them for the greens this summer, having gotten them in far too late. The pumpkins were the big producer and we are very grateful for the harvest and certainly enjoying them, but sweet potatoes plus pumpkins seems a good way to grow lots of calories.

With these you can make breakfasts, breads, desserts, soups, stews, stir-fries and, yes, tacos.

These are not, as you might assume, a seasoned sweet potato mixture folded into a tortilla. Rather, the sweet potato becomes the shell and the fillings are piled high. You can really fill them with whatever you have – beans, meat, cheese, sour cream, veggies. This time around we stuck with some longhorn we canned this past March along with broccoli, onion, and avocado.

Any kind of sauerkraut is always a welcome addition, of course, as is a fermented hot sauce.

Sweet Potato Tacos

  • 8 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1.5 lb. ground beef
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of ground cayenne
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 avocados, for serving
  • 1 broccoli crown, for serving
  • chopped onion, for serving


Bake the sweet potatoes at 400 degrees until they are fork tender, approximately 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the meat with the cumin, cayenne, and salt. Set aside for serving while you chop the vegetables.

Once the sweet potatoes are baked, split them in half and top with the meat, veggies, and avocado. Serve alongside a salad or fermented vegetable.